A 6-year-old girl with a life-limiting condition who has raised more than £50,000 for Muscular Dystrophy has today received Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Points of Light award.
Carmela Chillery-Watson, from Devizes in Wiltshire, lives with the progressive muscle-wasting disease LMNA-CMD. Children with this condition rarely live up to 20 years, and Carmela’s muscles get weaker with every step she takes.
Since her diagnosis aged just three, Carmela and her family have worked tirelessly to help fund vital research into potential treatments – and ultimately a cure – for others with muscle-wasting conditions.
To date, she has raised more than £54,000 including Gift Aid for MDUK.
When will Carmela receive the award?
Carmela will be presented with the Prime Minister’s Points of Light award – which recognises outstanding individual volunteers who inspire others – in a virtual ceremony next week with her local MP, Danny Kruger.
Reacting to the Prime Minister’s announcement, Carmela said:
“This is awesome news, I can’t believe it, it’s so amazing. Thank you so much.”
Carmela’s award comes following her impressive and ongoing fundraising activities. In 2019 she embarked on a gruelling walking challenge dressed as her favourite superhero, Wonder Woman. During the challenge she:
- completed the equivalent of a marathon every single day (300km over the month) on her specially-designed crutches
- received supportive messages and financial donations along the way from the cast of Wonder Woman 1984, including Gal Gadot, who even donated to Carmela’s JustGiving page
Most recently, Carmela has started a new ‘150 One a Day Challenge’, posting a physical therapy exercise online every day until June 2021 as she continues to fundraise for MDUK whilst inspiring others during lockdown.
What does MDUK think of the news?
Catherine Woodhead, CEO of Muscular Dystrophy UK, said:
“Everyone at MDUK is thrilled that Carmela’s outstanding fundraising efforts for the charity have been recognised by the Prime Minister. To date, Carmela and her family have raised £54,000 for MDUK including Gift Aid. That is a huge amount of money, made even more impressive when you remember that Carmela, who lives with a very rare and life-limiting muscle-wasting condition, is just six years old.
“Carmela’s muscles get weaker every single day, yet she embraces each new fundraising challenge with unwavering perseverance, determination and her glorious smile. The money Carmela has raised helps fund research into potential treatments and cures for others just like her, and MDUK is incredibly grateful for her hard work. Well done Carmela on your Points of Light award!”
Carmela is the 1,588th person to receive the Prime Minister’s UK daily Points of Light award, which was first launched in April 2014 to recognise outstanding individuals making a difference where they live.
To visit Carmela’s JustGiving page, please go to: www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/muscular-dystrophy/carmela